Man fatally shot by Rialto homeowner Saturday night

A 20-year-old man was fatally shot by a homeowner in Rialto after allegedly trying to break into a house Saturday night.
A 20-year-old man was fatally shot by a homeowner in Rialto after allegedly trying to break into a house Saturday night. The dead man's family says he wouldn't have broken into anyone's home.

"He was just hiding from his cousin. He wasn't hiding from someone that was going to hurt him, that he thought he had to go inside of someone's house to be safe," said Maxine Flores. Her 20-year-old son Andy Garcia was fatally shot Saturday night.

Flores says Garcia was at his sister's graduation party Saturday night and got into a fight with her boyfriend.

"He is an overprotective brother," said Flores.

The family decided Garcia should cool down by going to his grandmother's house, so his cousin was going to drive him there.

"So he gets in the car, he takes off, and then after that we see him jump out of the car. We saw the brake lights go on," said Garcia's stepfather, Ruben Cortez. "The cousin turned around, tried to get him, and he took off crossing the sidewalk, and we're waiting for him to come home."

The big question is what happened next. Police say Garcia went to a home just down the block.

"The homeowner told us that he was in fear for his safety, the safety of his family," said Rialto Police Captain Randy De Anda.

Detectives say the homeowner told Garcia several times to leave.

"To the extent of how far he got into the residence, I can't comment on. But we do have evidence at the location that indicates there was a physical confrontation and there was an entry attempt made into the residence," said De Anda.

"All of a sudden that's when we heard the gunshots. We heard one, a pause, and then four more," said Cortez.

No one answered the door at the residence where the shooting took place. Some residents who didn't want to go on camera say they saw the family packing up several vehicles and leaving on Sunday. They haven't been seen since.

Police say they are still investigating.

"It appears that the homeowner was defending himself and his family," said De Anda.

Garcia's family doesn't believe it. They say he wouldn't have broken into anyone's home.

"He was not trying to break into anybody's house. That is not his character. He is not a thief. He's gone to school, he's graduated, he has a job, he has a baby on the way," said Flores. "There is no way he was going to do anything to jeopardize any of that."

Rialto Police said that when the investigation is complete, the evidence will be turned over to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to determine if any charges will be filed.

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